Panchkula municipal corporation is losing revenues by the year as it is dragging its feet over the introduction of trade licences as mandated under the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act 1994.
As per the regulation, a licence is required to carry out any trade– from manufacturing to sale of goods to hotels and restaurants–inside the municipal limits.
For the licence, traders have to pay a prescribed annual fee for renewal.
To ensure that the business is carried out in accordance with the relevant rules, standards and safety guidelines, Panchkula MC had initiated the process in 2013 for introduction of trade licences, which have already been introduced by the local bodies of Ambala, Gurgoan and Rohtak.
A six-member committee was constituted in 2014 comprising the mayor Upinder Kaur, senior deputy mayor HS Nanda, deputy mayor Sunil Talwar, councillors Lilly Bawa and Omwati Punia and zonal taxation officer BR Dhiman.
The committee studied the implementation of trade licences in Gurgoan and Ambala and formulated a fee slab according to the turnover of the trader.As per the rates, traders with annual income of Rs 50 lakh would have to pay Rs 500 to the corporation while traders with turnover upto Rs 1 lakh will pay Rs 700.
Businessmen with turnover upto Rs 10 lakh will pay Rs 1,000. Meanwhile, businessmen with turnovers of upto Rs 10 crore, 15 crore, 20 crore, 50 crore and Rs 100 crore will have to shell out Rs 20,000, Rs 25,000, Rs 27,000, Rs 50,000, Rs 85,000 and Rs 1.25 lakh respectively.The matter of introducing trade licences was tabled in the MC house meeting twice, but was deferred on both the occasions. Since then the file has been shuttling between different offices piling up remarks.
Terming the introduction of licences an anti-trader plan, Haryana State Beopar Mandal president Bajrang Dass Garg said that there was no need to implement the same.“Trade licence will put an additional burden on traders who are already paying huge money in the form of different taxes,” said Garg.
He further added that they would request chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to abandon the plan. On the other hand, mayor Upinder Kaur said that the city body stands to lose huge amounts of revenues due to non-introduction of trade licences.
However, MC commissioner SP Arora said that trade licences would be introduced soon after receiving report from a special committee constituted for introduction of the same.